$150 to $200 GPS units

Discussion in 'GPS 101 - Which GPS For Me' started by Potosi Joe, Jul 5, 2012.

  1. Potosi Joe

    Potosi Joe Been here awhile

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    I know nothing about GPS units at all. I am planning a trip to southwest Colorado and would like to have a GPS to guide me on trails like Cinnamon, Bandora Mine, Clear lake, Engineer Pass, etc. I also want to be able to use it for street guidance in the area too. I'm having a debate with the wife if a car unit will work. Like I said, we know very little about GPS units. Can I get some info on what type is best and suggestions for specific units that would be good. Also, if anyone has a used unit they are looking to sell in the $150 to $200 price range, I might be interested. Is it easy to get maps for this area/type of riding, will I spend a lot for these, and where do I get them? I know some of these answers may be in other posts here, but to get an all inclusive opinion, I decided to just post a new thread. Thank you in advance for you help, and I hope you don't flame me for all the questions that may have answers elsewhere.
    #1
  2. Craneguy

    Craneguy British Hooligan

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    I have a very, very cheap CAR GPS on my bike, stuck on with some Velcro. I already had it, and it's "surplus" so I put it into service. The problem of course is that it isn't waterproof. A Ziploc bag would solve this, but then I can't stick it down.

    Motorcycle ready Garmins start at around $250 and go all the way up to $700 or so. The cheaper ones have small screens and many features are not there (Bluetooth, traffic reports etc)

    I found a long thread on another site about this unit The reviews were mostly positive, and all said they were excellent for the price, despite such things as weak mounts and lack of a car charger (the pictures show several accessories that apparently don't actually get shipped, but it didn't bother most people)

    One option if you have a smartphone is to buy a waterproof case and handlebar mount for it (Ebay or Amazon sell them). Definitely the cheapest option.

    So those are your choices:

    Expensive
    Likely to fail in the first rain
    or cheap and cheerful.

    Good luck!
    #2
  3. Unstable Rider

    Unstable Rider Moto Fotografist

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    a $79-$99 Garmin Nuvi refurb. from Amazon on a decent bracket (Ram Ball) will last a long time if kept out of the rain (baggies and rubber bands).

    I get about 2 plus years out of them before they faulter, and I use it on the bike, in the car and on a snowmobile so it sees rough service.

    I can't load trails, or share trails, but it does get me around, finds nearest gas station, lodging, food and atm machines, small enough to put in pocket if you get off the bike. I consider them reasonably disposable at that price.

    Just one approach. I would love to have one of the fancy ones that I could share routes and read other's route files (GPX), but even lots of those guys still carry a common auto type Garmin Nuvi to get around, easy enough to make some setting changes while driving, find stuff, etc., tough to beat.
    #3
  4. Laconic

    Laconic Anodyne

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    If you decide on a Nuvi or something similar, this is a pretty handy little mount. Probably not 100% waterproof, but a ziplock over it would seal the deal, so to speak. Al Tuna turned me on to it and I've used it with my old Nuvi 200 on several long trips with no issues.

    http://www.amazon.com/Arkon-GPS032-...341502428&sr=8-2&keywords=gps+handlebar+mount

    Keep in mind, the inexpensive auto units like the Nuvi are very hard to see in bright sunlight.
    #4
  5. betasigscoot

    betasigscoot Palaverer

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    I use a more basic Nuvi and am surprised it includes so many trails near where I fish in Canada. My 76CSx with Topo doesn't show as many roads. Last year, I tried the City Navigator North America NT on the handheld. It shows every road the Nuvi does, and I can switch to Topo when I'm on the lake. The handheld isn't as user-friendly as the Nuvi, but for a compromise I'm quite happy with it.

    Here's what I've seen for prices:
    A very nice used handheld GPS is ~$100-150 (excl. 60CSx)
    A used/refurb Nuvi is <$100
    A decent new Nuvi is ~$90-140
    CityNav NA Maps are $80 new.
    #5
  6. jackpiner57

    jackpiner57 Moto-Racks.com

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    I use a similar Arkon mount, which doesn't have the quick detach, but it has a shorter ball mount which is less wobbly and has screws instead of the thumb screw. I have ridden in the rain and it works great. A little vaseline on the zipper teeth would probably help with waterproofness but I haven't needed to do that.

    I think this one has the shorter ball mount? http://www.amazon.com/Motorcycle-WATERPROOF-Handlebar-Mount-Garmin/dp/B0035TZS14/ref=pd_cp_e_3


    Not sure if this would fit your needs, but I use the discontinued Nuvi 295w that was only 80.00 shipped. It has a web browser, email, weather, where am I?, saves tracks, routes etc. A great little unit for the price. I don't know if there might be refurb units out there.
    #6
  7. 250senuf

    250senuf Long timer

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    And don't forget the camera that can geo-tag the photos.
    #7
  8. Potosi Joe

    Potosi Joe Been here awhile

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    Do the handheld typically give better "off-road or trail" mapping? I primarily want one that will keep me on the trails and passes in Colorado. It sounds like either one will do the highway stuff for me.
    Is there a specific Nuvi that is a favorite or that gives options to load trails or coordinates or whatever you do?
    Thanks for all the info so far. Keep it coming...please!
    #8
  9. Renegade_Azzy

    Renegade_Azzy Kamen Rider

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    Also found on here: http://www.aliexpress.com/store/pro...-for-GPS-Navigator-RD05/708107_569235799.html

    Which is where all those guys on ebay are finding them.
    #9
  10. EZman671

    EZman671 Adventurer

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    Garmin GPS76cx $150 at West Marine


    Many of the low cost units are very difficult to read in bright sunlight.

    The brighter the sunlight the better the GPS76 looks. It is also readable in low light.

    The 76 also does routes and tracks. Plenty of info on this site about those features.
    #10
  11. Craneguy

    Craneguy British Hooligan

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    Yes, you're probably right. I'd buy one in a second if I knew I could load Mexico maps on it as I did with my Garmin.

    I love these china sites. They sell so many cool products. I just saw a $150 7" GPS with a radar detector and video camera on the back! As ever though, I reservations about build quality and durability. They are cheap for a reason!

    Water-resistance is important to me. I was navigating some pretty complex back roads last weekend, and if I had to take my car unit down in the rain, I would have been stuck. Maybe a waterproof case is the answer to unlock access to cheap car units. Another imporatant item is the units ability to broadcast direction via bluetooth. I had the volume cranked up, but I could only hear it (just) when at very low speed. I had to rely on the "bing" warning tone that a turn was coming, then look at the screen. Not ideal.
    #11
  12. henrymartin

    henrymartin Mr. Tourguide

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    I got Nuvi 500 for about $150 at DrivenGPS (Google it). It was refurbished, had 1 year warranty, and would still work if an inmate did not step on it while helping me to pull the bike out of mud. None of the parts broke, but the software started acting up. Garmin replaced it under the 1 year warranty without a charge. 10k miles on mine, several downpours, some laying on its side in water, some floating, plenty of vibrations...no issues at all. Love the big screen, and accepted Canada maps as a download. :)
    #12
  13. Renegade_Azzy

    Renegade_Azzy Kamen Rider

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    I have used a car GPS for a few years in a nice bag that came from some German site (extream brand). Waterproof and works fine, but screens get hard to read and touch interfaces are a bit tricky.
    #13
  14. Potosi Joe

    Potosi Joe Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the input. This is all really helpful.
    #14
  15. Potosi Joe

    Potosi Joe Been here awhile

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    Thanks everyone for all the info. Picked up a Nuvi 1450 this week. I think it is going to work great. You guys really helped me out with info.
    #15
  16. MrBob

    MrBob Out there

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    Have you found a motorcycle mount for this unit?
    #16
  17. toddiscdn

    toddiscdn Take off, EH!

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    Ram...great stuff, the have cradles for most, heres the 14xx series..

    [​IMG]
    #17
  18. GlennR

    GlennR Playin' in the Fire

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    What about waterproofing?
    #18